Board decides school start times will remain

Board decides school start times will remain
The 2012 Rancho Santa Fe School Board: Back from left Tyler Seltzer; Todd Frank clerk; Jim Depolo, president; Richard Burdge, former president. In front is Marti Ritto, vice president. Photo by Patty McCormac

RANCHO SANTA FE — On second thought, there will be no formal parent survey about school start times at R. Roger Rowe School. That was the decision at the Feb. 2 board meeting of the Rancho Santa Fe School District.At the Jan. 12 school board meeting, trustee Todd Frank suggested that school start times be re-examined because extra curricular activities before school are causing some children to rise very early.“I think a question by Todd (Frank) blossomed into more than we thought it would,” said Lindy Delaney, Rancho Santa Fe School superintendent. “Todd was trying to figure out a more efficient way. We have looked at it and I am glad we have five board members who want to make things better.”Upon further investigation, Frank agreed start times should remain as they are.“There is not a lot of room to adjust,” he said. “We are the best place we can be for now.”

Frank said at the Jan. 12 meeting some parents have approached him and asked who sets the start times and wondered whether it was possible to look at them to decide whether school could start a little later.

School starts at 8 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. except for Mondays when school starts at 9:15 a.m. to allow for staff development.

Frank later abstained on the vote to confirm the school calendar for next year.

The board decided to table the discussion until the Feb. 2 meeting, and perhaps look at doing a survey, but decided against it at the meeting.

Delaney said that Rowe students do a lot and that many things have been tried to keep school and extra curricular activities balanced because there are activities on both ends of the school day.

“When that bell rings, they are not going home and sitting,” she said. “I am recommending to the board that we keep things the way they are. We would have to give up something to get something else.”

In other school board news, Michael Hunley, who lives in Cielo just outside the Rancho Santa Fe School District, asked the board if it would be possible to be annexed into the district.

Currently, Hunley’s three children and the other children in the neighborhood go to Escondido schools.

“To go to elementary school, it takes 30 minutes and to middle school more than 45 minutes,” he said. “That takes a big bite out of a child’s school day,” he said.

Plus, any extra school activities require more trips back and forth, he said.

The answer by the board was no.

“When Cielo was built, that was an issue,” said Jim Depolo, president of the school board. “There is a long history of where the borders are. I appreciate where you are coming from and I hope you can appreciate where we are coming from.”

Delaney, in her report, said she is getting ready to release the final money owed to D.W. Driver, the contractor on the new school.

“This is an exciting time now,” she said. “I think we are getting pretty close to wrapping up.”

Not exciting is the prospect of the reduced property taxes and how they will affect the school.

“Property taxes were $87,000 less than anticipated and we are waiting for the governor’s budget, which will have an impact,” she said.

Delaney said planning for next year is already under way.

“We are half way through the school year this week,” she said.

As is customary, temporary teachers will be given state-required pink slips in March, although most could be invited back for next year, she said.

The school board meets the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. in the school’s performing arts center. To learn more, call (858) 756-1141 or visit rsf.k12.ca.us.

The 2012 Rancho Santa Fe School Board: Back from left Tyler Seltzer; Todd Frank clerk; Jim Depolo, president; Richard Burdge, former president. In front is Marti Ritto, vice president. Courtesy photo

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